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How Much Compensation Can I Claim For Anxiety After A Car Accident?

By John Bowes. Last Updated 31st March 2021. Welcome to our guide on how much compensation you could receive for PTSD or anxiety after a car accident. In this guide we look at how to make this type of claim and at how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you could claim. Road traffic accidents can be extremely traumatic for those involved and often have lasting psychological effects for many years after. Even when a physical injury isn’t sustained, those involved may be left with post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD after a car accident. Feelings of anxiety can be experienced for months or even years.

how much compensation for ptsd after car accident

Car accident anxiety

When someone is left with a psychological problem such as anxiety due to an accident that wasn’t their fault, they may wish to make a personal injury claim for compensation. Using a personal injury solicitor will give them the best possible chance of making a successful psychological trauma claim.

Legal Expert is a team of personal injury claims specialists that have years of experience in filing successful anxiety compensation claims and can help you to get the compensation that you are entitled to for the pain and suffering you have endured due to someone else’s negligence. Just give us a call on 0800 073 8804 for free help and advice.

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A guide to how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you could claim

You may be wondering if you’re able to make a claim for anxiety after an RTA, or how much compensation you might be entitled to for PTSD after a car accident. If you are suffering from anxiety after being involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may be able to make a compensation claim for the symptoms of anxiety that you are experiencing.

Compensation claims for anxiety can be made, however, if you have not suffered any physical injuries in the accident, then the anxiety you are experiencing must be serious enough to fall into a specific class of psychiatric symptoms that are a recognised condition for the claim to be successful. There are also strict criteria that limit the types of claims where it may be possible for recovery from the symptoms when a physical injury is not present.

In the instance where a physical injury is also sustained, then you may be able to claim for the resulting anxiety bought on not only by the accident but from suffering the physical injuries themselves even if the anxiety is not serious enough to fall into the specific class of psychiatric recognised symptoms as mentioned above.

Anxiety symptoms resultant from a car accident are often overlooked but can actually have a major impact on the victim’s recovery. Sometimes the victims struggle to discuss their anxiety, but it is really important for their recovery and overall well-being that the issue is addressed as soon as possible and that compensation is sought to give them some justice for what they are going through, after all, why should they suffer because of someone else’s negligence or sometimes simple stupidity.

This guide has been designed to give you plenty of information on making a compensation claim if you are suffering from anxiety due to a car accident that wasn’t your fault. It’ll be extremely helpful to anyone wondering “how much compensation could I receive for PTSD after a car accident?”. Once you have read through the guide, please feel free to call Legal Expert for further advice as compensation claims for anxiety can be complex and a reputable personal injury lawyer will give you the best chance of success. Once we have assessed your injuries we could look at how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you may be owed.

What is Anxiety?

Anxiety, although unpleasant, is actually a fairly normal part of life and can affect people in a variety of ways and at different times. With anxiety, it isn’t always clear to the sufferer why they are anxious and can often be persistent which is where it can differ to other problems such as stress, as with stress, the cause is usually known and can come and go depending on what is happening in their lives and so the sufferer has a clearer picture on how to make it better or go away, but with anxiety, it isn’t always as straight forward.

Suffering from anxiety can often give the sufferer a heightened feeling of insecurity and make them imagine that things happening in their lives are far worse than they actually are and it can often stop them from dealing with their fears. They will often feel that they have some psychological problem that is making them go mad when in reality, anxiety is actually very normal and something that has been inside of us since the cave-man days when we had to be ready for dealing with being faced with the dangers surrounding us in the wild. Our ‘internal alarm system’ would, when faced with possible danger, cause adrenaline to be released into our system to make us hyper-alert and the ‘fight or flight’ response would kick in. In today’s world though this protective bodily function can often be wrongly activated in normal everyday situations where stress has often unknowingly built up.

Some people who suffer from anxiety can identify what has caused it, such as being involved in a traumatic situation or accident, among other things. But also there are some people that don’t know why they suffer from anxiety which can often cause them added stress.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

The list of symptoms for anxiety is actually quite extensive and include both psychological and physical symptoms as well as changes in behaviour. A sufferer of anxiety may experience one or more of the following physical symptoms:

  • Heart rate increase
  • Muscle tension increases
  • Hyperventilation
  • Difficulties being able to breathe.
  • Legs that feel ‘jelly-like.’
  • Hands and feet may start to tingle.
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Needing the toilet
  • Sickly feeling
  • Feeling tight across the chest.
  • Sweating
  • Headaches
  • Experiencing hot flushes
  • Dry mouth
  • May start shaking
  • Could feel palpitations
  • A choking sensation

As well as any of the above symptoms, a sufferer will usually suffer from one or more of the following psychological symptoms too:

  • The feeling of losing control or feeling that they are going mad
  • A real belief that you may die
  • Thinking that you may be seriously ill, having a heart attack, going to faint, or even that you may have a brain tumour, for example.
  • A feeling that everyone is looking at you and judging you because of your anxiety
  • A feeling that everything is speeding up or slowing down
  • A feeling of isolation from family and friends
  • Wanting to run away from everything or a situation you may be facing
  • Feeling very sensitive and ‘on edge’ and aware of everyone and everything around you.

The most common anxiety behavioural symptom is avoidance. Avoiding situations that will potentially cause someone anxiety is okay initially and will give them short term relief, but by keeping avoiding the same situations rather than confronting them can often reinforce their anxious feelings in those situations which can make things worse psychologically. By confronting their fear, they could prove to themselves that their anxiety is unfounded and that the problem they were worried about may not be as bad as what they thought it would be, or may not even happen. If you have suffered these or other symptoms after an accident, contact us to check how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you could claim.

What is travel anxiety after a car accident?

Suffering from anxiety after a car accident is understandably quite common. Some people are lucky enough not to feel anxious at all after getting over the initial shock of being involved in an accident, some may feel slightly anxious the next few times they travel by car, but there are also some people who suffer from severe anxiety after a car accident and may find that the anxiety lasts for several months.

If you have been involved in a car accident and are suffering from persistent anxiety attacks as a result, then it is vital that you see a medical professional in order to get a proper diagnosis and advice on how to improve or stop the symptoms. Certainly, if you are considering claiming for psychological trauma after car accident compensation, having a medical diagnosis of anxiety will provide proof of the symptoms you are suffering from. It can affect how much compensation you’ll get for PTSD following a car accident. For a compensation claim to be successful, injuries, whether they are physical or psychological, have to be proven.

Common travel anxiety symptoms

There are a number of symptoms you may experience if you are suffering from anxiety after a car accident. What symptoms are experienced, and their severity will differ from person to person.

Some of the symptoms that sufferers may encounter include:

  • Feelings of dread and fear of getting into another vehicle are very common.
  • Feeling sweaty
  • Shaking
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tingling in hands and feet
  • Numbness
  • Chills

Although the anxiety can result in a panic attack, it doesn’t always happen, but even so, feeling anxious can be equally as debilitating. How much compensation for PTSD after car accident you could be owed varies from case to case. Contact us today to learn more.

What should you do if you experience anxiety or travel anxiety?

Anyone involved in a car crash will feel a little shaken up and may feel nervous the next time they choose to travel. However, some people will suffer from severe anxiety as a result of the accident and may wish to make a personal injury claim.

There are a few things that you can do to help strengthen your case:

  • Medical Report – Make sure you seek medical attention. This is not only important for your health and well-being, but it is also very useful for providing visual proof of your suffering.
  • Witnesses – If there were any witnesses to your car accident, take their contact details so that they can provide a statement if needs be. This is very useful in proving liability.
  • Photos – If possible take photos of the crash site, again this may help with proving liability.
  • Expenses – Any extra expenses incurred since the car accident as a direct result can be included in the claim, and so it is important to keep any proof of these expenses that you may have.

How is anxiety after a car crash treated?

Before any treatment is decided, your GP should discuss with you all of the different options and what their pros and cons are including any possible side effects of medication is used as part of the treatment.

Once you have discussed these in detail, you can make an informed decision with your GP on which treatment will be best suited to your individual circumstances.

Initially, in most cases the first treatment suggested to try by the GP is to try completing a self-help course, these are usually taken using a workbook or an online course, both with the support of a health professional.

If this fails to help with your anxiety, your GP may then suggest you undergo some psychological therapy, or they may suggest a course of medication.

Psychological Therapy –

There are a variety of psychological therapies that can be effective in treating anxiety :

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

CBT is considered one of the best and successful treatments for anxiety and have been found to often have long-lasting effects. It helps you to understand your feelings, problems, thoughts and behaviour can all affect each other. It makes you look at how your anxious feelings can have an effect and get you to come out of your comfort zone and do things that you wouldn’t normally do and would actually make you more anxious so that you confront your fears.
With CBT, you will meet with a specially trained therapist for an hour every week for three to four months.

Mindfulness and Applied Relaxation

These are alternative psychological therapies that can often be as effective as CBT.

Mindfulness helps you to be aware of what’s happening in the present moment. Being mindful helps because you can then acknowledge and accept your feelings which in turn helps to reduce the anxiety and feelings of tunnel vision as you are prepared for it to happen.
Applied relaxation teaches you to relax certain muscles in a particular way in situations that would normally bring on anxiety. These techniques need to be taught by a trained professional and regularly practised so that they become easier to apply. This treatment would involve regular appointments with the therapist each week for three to four months.

Medication –

Medication is usually offered if any of the above has failed to help. There are a variety of different medications that can be used, some being for short term use and some for longer periods. Depending on your individual anxiety symptoms, your GP may need to prescribe medication for both physical and psychological problems caused by your anxiety.

Before prescribing any medication, your GP should discuss with you the different types, how to take them and any side effects or possible interactions with medications you may already be taking. Once a medication has been decided on and prescribed, you should be asked to meet with your GP regularly particularly within the first three months so that they can monitor your progress and you can discuss any side effects that you may be experiencing. Your GP may choose to alter the dose or change the medication if they feel it’s necessary so that you get the right mix that’s suitable for you. As part of estimating how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you are owed, the costs of medical and psychological care will be taken into account.

Case Study PTSD after a car accident

If you have been involved in a car accident that wasn’t your fault and you’ve started suffering from anxiety or PTSD as a result, you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

Often, psychological injuries are perceived as being less serious as physical injuries as they cannot be visually seen, but travel anxiety after a car accident can have an enormous negative effect on someone’s life and so be just a debilitating as a physical injury, and you have every right to claim compensation against those responsible.

The case study below shows what affect a car accident can have on someone psychologically even at a young age, and what sort of compensation may be awarded. This particular case wasn’t dealt with by Legal Expert themselves, but they have taken many cases similar to this on and been very successful.

The Claimant, in this case, was only six years old at the time of the accident. He was sitting in the front passenger seat whilst being driven in a car by his Father. Whilst travelling around a roundabout, they were hit on the left side by another car. Due to the impact, the claimant’s car spun around 360 degrees before it finally stopped. Although the claimant was wearing a seatbelt, he was still tossed about in his seat forcefully causing him to bang his head on the roof of the car. The claimant and his Father were in their car quite a while before being rescued. The claimant didn’t lose consciousness but was very shaken and frightened by the whole ordeal. He was taken to the local accident and emergency department to get checked over but left without receiving any treatment after waiting for seven hours.

For five days after the accident, the claimant suffered from some pain to his temporomandibular joints in his jaw and also had painful frontal headaches for about two weeks with them gradually decreasing until they ceased after about a month.

During the initial first days following the accident, the claimant appeared very withdrawn and had trouble trying to get to sleep, but when he did sleep, he would often have nightmares.
He was off of school for two weeks and saw his GP four weeks after the accident. His GP suggested he take paracetamol.

The psychological injuries were far more debilitating than the short term physical injuries that the claimant had suffered. He was withdrawn, had trouble sleeping, suffered from nightmares and felt very nervous every time he had to travel by car leading to a change in his behaviour and personality.

The claimant was diagnosed by a medical professional as suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and depression. The claimant received some Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for a total of twenty-three sessions which thankfully proved to be successful, and he was advised that his PTSD would be unlikely to come back.

This PTSD compensation claim went to court seven and a half years after the accident as a settlement between the claimant and the defendant could not be agreed upon. The claimant was awarded by the court £11,200 in general damages. This case study can give you an idea of how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you may be owed.

What do compensation claims include?

You may be wondering how much compensation you’ll receive for PTSD following a car accident. There are numerous items that should be included in your compensation claim, such as:

  • General Damages – These cover the physical and psychological aspects of your claim. The severity of your injuries will determine the amount awarded.
  • Medical Expenses – Any medical costs incurred as a direct result of your accident should be included so that you can claim these back.
  • Travel Costs – Travel costs that you have incurred as a direct result of your accident should be included. These may also include costs of any vehicle adaptions you may have had to have done.
  • Loss of Earnings – Any loss of earnings due to your injury may be included.
  • Care Claim – If someone has had to take care of you or help around the home due to the injury you have sustained in the accident, then they can put in a claim themselves.

Calculating how much compensation for PTSD after car accident – Updated March 2021

How much money can you get from a car accident injury? This will depend on many different aspects, such as the severity of the injury and the effect it has had on someone’s life and overall well-being. Each case will be completely different in many ways and so giving an exact answer to this question isn’t possible. However, by using our personal injury claims calculator, we can show the average amounts people have been awarded in previous cases. This should help you to see how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you may be owed.

Reason for CompensationAverage Amount AwardedComments
Psychiatric Damage - Severe£51,460 to £108,620The claimant will have marked issues with large aspects of their life and a poor prognosis.
Psychiatric Damage - Moderately Severe£17,900 to £51,460Whilst this person may also have marked problems with family life, ability to work or continue in education, they have a better outlook than above.
Psychiatric Damage - Moderate£5,500 to £17,900The person will have a better overall outlook and may have made some recovery by the time of a trial.
Psychiatric Damage - Less Severe£1,440 to £5,500How much compensation is awarded depends on how badly and for how long for the person is affected.
Severe PTSD£56,180 - £94,470This is where the claimant cannot work and it has had an affect on every aspect of their life. This may be more for those who drive for a living if their PTSD has stopped them from continuing with their job leading to other factors such as depression.
Moderately Severe PTSD£21,730 - £56,180The PTSD has had a considerable negative effect on the claimant’s life, but it is thought with professional help, improvements can be made.
Moderate PTSD£7,680 - £21,730In these cases the claimant will have largely recovered and any continuing effects will not be too disabling.
Minor PTSD£3,710 - £7,680In these cases most claimants have full recovery within one to two years with only minor minor symptoms persisting for a longer period.

Just Call Legal Expert to discuss your case in more detail to see what you could possibly be awarded should you file a compensation claim for anxiety following a car accident with us.

No Win No Fee psychological trauma claims

Legal Expert offers a No Win No Fee service. This then allows anyone who has been injured due to the negligence of someone else a chance to claim compensation regardless of their current financial position. With our No Win No Fee service, we do not ask you to pay any of our legal fees if we do not win your case for you, you will pay zero fees. We will only require you to pay us when we win your case for you, and no money is required upfront, we simply take a small percentage of your awarded amount, legally this cannot be more than 25%.

Our No Win No Fee service provides you with the opportunity to claim for the compensation that you deserve without any financial gamble on your part whatsoever.

How Legal Expert can help you claim compensation for anxiety after a car accident

Legal Expert is a panel of experienced personal injury claim specialists that have dealt with many, many successful anxiety after car accident cases.

We work really hard to get our clients the compensation they deserve. We are empathetic to their situation and work as quickly and as efficiently as we can to make sure the whole process goes as smoothly as possible.

We are an honest, trustworthy and reliable firm that will do everything we can to secure you the maximum compensation award amount that we possibly can.

Start your claim with Legal Expert today

Starting your claim with Legal Expert is as simple as picking up your phone! Just call us on 0800 073 8804, we will offer you a free, no-obligation consultancy session where you have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you wish regarding making a compensation claim, and we can ask you some details surrounding your case. We will be able to let you know if you have a legitimate case, and if so, with your go-ahead can start working on your claim straight away. We may also offer you a free local medical if we feel it could be of benefit, but this can be discussed in more detail.

With our extensive personal injury claims knowledge and experience, and our No Win No Fee service, you really don’t have anything to lose by calling us today to get you the compensation you deserve.

Anxiety and PTSD After Car Accident FAQs

What happens if PTSD is left untreated?

If you’ve been involved in a traumatic event like a car accident, it’s normal to feel affected by it for some time afterwards. For most people, these feelings of upset and confusion go away on their own. But if you find that you’re still suffering after four weeks, or that the psychological repercussions of your accident are affecting your ability to function, then you should speak to your doctor.

What is the most effective therapy for PTSD?

There are a variety of different therapies used to treat PTSD and anxiety following a car accident. If you’ve been experiencing symptoms for a short time, your doctor might recommend something called “watchful waiting”. This is when your symptoms are monitored without treatment to see if they get better on their own. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a kind of treatment that aims to change the way you think about your experience. Your therapist might ask you to revisit the experience in your mind and help you address any misconceptions or unhelpful views that contribute to your fear.

How much compensation will I get for PTSD after a car accident in the UK?

There’s no one answer to the question “how much compensation will I get for PTSD after a car accident” as different people suffer from a car crash’s psychological effects in different ways. Less severe PTSD, where after one or two years only minor symptoms remain, can be valued between £3,710 to £7,680. Severe PTSD, which negatively affects all areas of your life and stops you from working, could be valued at up to £94,470. Remember, your claim will also include special damages. These can cover any time off work or treatments you’ve had to pay for and can affect the value of your claim.

How common are road traffic accidents?

In the year to June 2020 there were 131,220 casualties of all severities caused by road traffic accidents in the UK. This represented a sharp fall of 16% in comparison to the previous year. The attached graph shows other related road traffic accident statistics for the UK in the year to June 2020. They may be found in this government resource.


How long could PTSD last?

This is a difficult question to answer. For some, PTSD may not last too long and they may experience a good degree of recovery. For others the effects could last for years or may affect someone for their entire life-time.

Will People who have PTSD get better?

Recovery could be different depending on the person and the degree of their initial PTSD symptoms. Many people do find that through treatment they can recover from the majority of their symptoms. However, this is not always the case.

How is PTSD treated?

There are various and different treatments available for PTSD. The main treatments options used by the NHS are medication and psychological therapies. Your doctor will be able to advise you as to how best to treat your PTSD.

What is the average settlement for PTSD?

As you can see from our compensation table, there is no ‘average PTSD’ settlement. How much you are awarded will depend upon how serious your injuries were and what degree of recovery you have had and are expected to have.

Thank you for reading our guide on how much compensation you might be entitled to for PTSD after a car accident.

Useful Links

Click here to read the NHS guide to treatments for anxiety.

The Anxiety UK web page and has lots of information about anxiety that may help.

Click here to read the DVLA’s guidance on PTSD and driving.

Read our in-depth explanation on how our No Win No Fee service works.

Our guide to car accident claims can make sure you’re compensated for psychological and physical injuries following an accident.

Click here to read our general guide to claiming compensation for psychological injury

You’ve reached the end of our guide on how much compensation you could get for PTSD after a car accident. We hope you now know how much compensation for PTSD after car accident you may be owed.

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